Jobs will be the most debated four letter word in the coming elections. But what did Piyush Goyal, the Minister of Finance, say on jobs during his Budget speech? He mentioned 'jobs' about five times, talking either of employment generation, or preservation.
Here are those five policies or schemes, which the government thinks have worked; or could work in the future:
1. The first mention was that of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. "A number of measures have been implemented to ensure clean banking," the minister said. "Through a transparent and accountable process, we recognised these NPAs. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has institutionalised a resolution-friendly mechanism, which is helping in recovery of non-performing loans while preserving the underlying businesses and jobs. Earlier, only small businessmen used to be under pressure of repayment of loans while in the case of big businessmen, it was the headache of banks. But now, defaulting managements are either paying or exiting their businesses. An amount of close to Rs 3 lakh crore has already been recovered in favour of banks and creditors."
2. The second instance was about the UDAAN scheme, which is resulting in higher air travel. "The number of operational airports has crossed 100 with the commissioning of the Pakyong airport in Sikkim. Domestic passenger traffic has doubled during the last five years leading to large number of jobs being created also," the minister said.
3. The third sector creating jobs is the Railways-and it is creating manufacturing jobs. "Indian Railways has experienced the safest year in its history. All Unmanned Level Crossings on broad gauge network have been eliminated. Introduction of the first indigenously developed and manufactured semi high-speed "Vande Bharat Express" will give the Indian passengers world class experience with speed, service and safety. This major leap in wholly developed technology by our engineers will give an impetus to the Make in India programme and create jobs," he said. The Railways' overall capital expenditure programme totals Rs 1,58,658 crore.
4. The fourth instance of jobs being mentioned was in the context of climate change. "Our commitment to promote renewable energy is reflected in setting up the International Solar Alliance, the first treaty based international inter-governmental organisation headquartered in India. India's installed solar generation capacity has grown over ten times in last five years. This sector is now creating lakhs of new age jobs," the minister pointed out.
5. The last mention of jobs was in the FM's visions statement-"vision for ten most important dimensions in 2030". His government wants to create a Digital India that reaches every corner of India. "Digital Infrastructure and digital economy of 2030 will be built upon the successes achieved in recent years in digitisation of government processes and private transactions. Our youth will lead us in this endeavour with innumerable start-ups creating digital India, and millions of jobs in this eco-system," he stated.